Ken Derr's "Letters From A Dying Town #13" originally appeared in The Rawk (

Let’s be honest- hangovers don’t really have cures. Distractions, maybe, but nothing is really gonna salve the pain except more hootch, and we all know where that leads. Just like you, ya dirty fucking lush, my eyes always go straight to those promises of salvation in magazines about Chinese herbs and Campbell soup mixed with cilantro, but in my humble experience, they just make matters worse. Greasy food, water, coffee, porn- these all take us away from our suffering, but they do absolutely nothing to fix the problem. Even King Edwards’ natural born chicken and ribs is not the anodyne for the big throb. Of course, this leads us to Plan B: distraction. If you’re lucky enough to live alone, you can watch bad movies in your underwear, dozing in and out of Meatballs and then humming along at the end. You can take a walk, but really, who the fuck wants to do that, unless it’s down to Eddie’s to pick up a twelve pack. My favorite strategy used to be a five-disc cd changer and a couple of fanzines. No needless movement. No thinking. 6 billion reviews and you might remember two. Hands full of newsprint. Smudgy pictures, and even the occasional nudity. These days, however, it’s getting harder and harder to find that mindless Saturday helper. The Internet has made most print zines, which are absurdly cost ineffective, a thing of the drunkard’s romantic past. Sure, a handful still exist- Horizontal Action, Shredding Paper, Carbon 14, etc. Most, however, publish only occasionally, and certainly not enough to keep up with my drinking. The ezines (yea yea yea I know, my hypocrisy is running out every orifice, forming a Narcissisian pool at my feet) are fine for what they are, but unless you have some new tech contraption that ya can only find out about by reading CNET, ya can’t read the fucking things while lying flat on your back. There’s also something about holding those fuckers in your hand. I don’t know what it is, and certainly you don’t come here for insight. It just feels right, in a way that sitting in front of a computer never will. This is not to besmirch the good people who pour in their thankless hours on the existing zines, but we need another one. My personal challenge to you, ya trust fund bastards hoarding your cash in case the terrorists win, is to get one off the ground. Hell, I volunteer as your resident asshole. God knows I have the experience. Do a service for fat, lazy rock lovers everywhere, and get a big, beautiful rock mag off the ground. Make new friends. Win power and influence. Most importantly, let me know that another night in the service of Satan will not be punished too severely the next day. Let’s put those Chinese herb fellas right out of business.
Another month, another live show, and keep those snide comments to yourselves. Yea, you know you sat on your ass a couple of Saturday nights ago while a great band was playing cuz your “throat hurt.” Hypocrite. You watched that pilot of “The O.C.,” didn’t ya? Liar. Anyway, I’ve missed a couple of their last shows, but Killer’s Kiss made their triumphant return to Oakland, and no Barbie Doll collection or Emmett sighting could keep me away. For the uninitiated, KK be the unrecorded, but soon to be darlings of the Oblivian mourning, Gories bleeding, Exile on Main Street multiple copy holding, bastards of the very good taste (see Simmons’ “Grammar of The Drunk” for explanation). Proverbial technical difficulties marred the first half of the set, but the last three songs showed exactly why this is the best band in San Francisco. “Backslider” melds Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeth with prime era Crypt and it screams, “Hey Tim, after the Little Killers, methinks ya have some other Killers to record.” Look, they ain’t signed yet, but the power lunches, legal mumbo jumbo and cocaine are flying at 1975 levels. Somebody has to come and close the deal, and my finder’s fee is a mere pittance. Have your people call my people. See email address at bottom. Speaking of bottoms, the Knockout Pills have serious bottom end, both musically and, oh well, let’s be generous. Tighter than (fill in your favorite virgin metaphor), they cranked out some high flying rock n roll with probably more laughter and good cheer than you’re gonna see out of any touring band this year. Nothing spectacular, but a solid set of punk, garage, and rock to move the children’s backsides and make their parents smile. The much-touted FM Knives headlined and bored me to a numbing stupefaction. Sorry guys, but statue energy to what’s supposed to be toe-tappin’ Buzzcockian punk is not the kind of Red Bull I’m looking for with a long bike ride home.